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Previous Sweet Doe Pulled A Monty Python

Discussion in 'Behavior and Handling Techniques - Rabbits' started by GypsyG, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Jun 17, 2019
    GypsyG

    GypsyG Loving the herd life

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    I have a 6 month old doe who until yesterday was one of the sweetest attention beggers in my herd and one of my personal favorites... But yesterday when I reached in to get her water crock, she went full Monty Python and viciously attacked my arm. She latched on hard and would not let go while she flipped on her side and started kicking/scratching with her back feet. My arm is messed up pretty bad and I'll probably have some permanent scars.

    I had bred the doe in the cage next to her a few hours before this happened... Could the scent of that have triggered an extreme hormonal reaction?

    Should I breed her and see if that fixes her sudden attitude problem or give her a one-way ticket to freezer camp?

    For those who don't get the Monty Python reference:
     
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  2. Jun 17, 2019
    GypsyG

    GypsyG Loving the herd life

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  3. Jun 17, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    Oh my!!! :lol:
    I know it's not funny but I couldn't stop laughing after watching the video!

    I have a doe who does the exact same thing...
    But she only acts like a demon when she wants to breed. She is the sweetest thing ever but I'll always know when she wants to breed because of how quickly her temperament changes. I have permanent scars from her.
    It's gotta be hormonal but she's my only doe that does that :idunno
    My advice...breed her!!

    Sorry about your arms...make sure the wounds are cleaned out really well and put some silver gel or chlorhexidine on it. It helps heal it up quick!
     
  4. Jun 17, 2019
    GypsyG

    GypsyG Loving the herd life

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    I guess I am just concerned because I have always heard that a bad attitude is hereditary... I have one foundation doe, Helena, who is agressive, but only a week prior to kindling and two weeks after, and she always at least thumps to warn of an impeding attack. She is pretty aloof all of the rest of the time. The doe I reserved from her acts the same...

    I can deal with an aloof doe who is a protective mother, at least I know what to expect; she's predictable... But a doe who normally meets you at the gate for ear scratches who randomly attacks without warning? I am a little worried that it will pass to her offspring.

    Have you ever reserved any offspring from your doe? Do they have the same issues?
     
  5. Jun 17, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    I kept 6 kits from that doe I mentioned and they are the sweetest rabbits I've ever had.
    They're all does and I can do anything with them, they are nothing like their mom!
    I was worried that they'd turn out more like her but I have not seen any trace of her personality in any of them.
    The mom will attack me when I reach into her cage and that's normal for her. She gets really aggressive when she wants to breed and sometimes while she's pregnant.
    When she is the sweetest is when she had kits in the nestbox :)
    I have another doe who is very sweet and I kept a doe from her litter who turned out to be pretty aggressive and nothing like her mom.
    I know people say that temperament is hereditary but I honestly have never witnessed it in my 6 years of breeding rabbits...and I have a lot of them!!
     
  6. Jun 18, 2019
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    Last year two of my keepers developed a bad attitude... different breeds... both out of good and nice does. The mini rex is cage aggressive and started nipping at shows at about 5/6 months. She of course has 2 GC legs....I keep re-enforcing that it's not acceptable and we so far haven't had any bad incidents. She had one litter this spring, but then lost it due to cold temps... (I think she was better bred, I think) Now she's on day 35 with a nice nest but no kits... debating on next step, if I want to rebreed or? I still have her Mom, and 2 full siblings that are fine.
    The other doe is a Velveteen Lop... she bites when handled but hasn't ever been cage aggressive. She did not improve while pregnant.. and is a GREAT Mom.... she's probably my nicest keeper from last year too... She just HATES being handled. VL's are known for their sweet tempers and should be bred that way... I'm handling her kits as much as possible (just turned 2 weeks).... If I decide she needs to go I'll have to terminally cull.... because I don't need any flack coming back about my rabbits not having the sweet temper....it's been bad enough when I've sold rabbits in the past then the new owners get upset that they and don't adapt well into their new environment. (One person in particular had several she wasn't happy with.... even one great brood doe killed her kits... yeah environment can change personalities...
    But with our polish we got new buck... VERY sweet guy so far his kits are much easier to handle and they love attention, a complete turn around from last year litters. (had one new young buck we were given turn "monty python" last summer... I just terminally culled... he got NASTY quick, breeder said that she doesn't keep any with attittudes either)
    So yes I do believe temperament is genetic.... but we will see. I can tolerate not wanting to be held but really really don't want the cage aggressive ones... not with my kids.
     
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  7. Jun 18, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    I agree!
    If I had a rabbit that was crazy/aggressive all the time, I would not keep it or breed it.
    But I do have some does that have personality changes only at certain times (wanting to breed, pregnancy, being held)
    and I wouldn't cull them unless they were bad mothers along with it.
    I did have to cull a buck I got about a month or two ago (lionhead) because he was so aggressive with my does.
    I would put a doe in his cage and he would breed her, then attack her like he's going in for the kill.
    The doe that was carrying his litter aborted them so I never got to see how his kits turned out...
     
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  8. Jun 18, 2019
    GypsyG

    GypsyG Loving the herd life

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    I've been nipped and bit by a few rabbits in my lifetime, but this was the most vicious attack I've ever experienced. She latched on hard and deep and didn't let go for about five seconds while she shredded my arm with her rear claws. She's a big rabbit, her mom's a Flemish and her sire is a big french lop/NZ.

    She was previously soooo sweet though! She's one of the ones that is friendly enough that I can take her out of the cage and let her hop around outside without putting her in the bunny playpen, she follows me around like a dog when I do chores. If I'd take a brake from chores and sit in the grass, she'd flop down laying against me or come sit on my lap. She had never shown the slightest sign of agression before.

    The only thing I can think of is that smelling the doe that I'd bred about an hour earlier in the cage next to her trigger a hormonal reaction. I bred her to my sweetest buck this morning. I have my fingers crossed that it will help, but if it doesn't and she and shows even the slightest sign of agression without a nest box full of kits, then she's going to freezer camp.

    I guess I was really wondering was if anyone has experienced a doe having hormonal reactions to the doe in the next cage being bred, and hoping someone has a doe that went back to normal after an incident like this.
     
  9. Jun 18, 2019
    GypsyG

    GypsyG Loving the herd life

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    My rabbits are meat rabbits, but I have always tried to keep rabbits that are calm, friendly and easy to handle. Helena, my really agressive mother is a standard rex. She was spared and allowed to stay because she has beautiful large litters and is an excellent mother... The chocolate gene I found out she was hiding may have helped her case a little too.
     
  10. Jun 18, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops True BYH Addict

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    I did have a recent experience with a doe becoming aggressive when I bred another doe next her...
    She's next to my buck and I put a doe in with him and she started honking and squealing...then she attacked the other doe that lives with her. But after I took out the doe breeding next to her, she was perfectly normal after honking for a few more minutes. I never really thought much about it but i'm sure she would have attacked me like she did her room-mate :eek:
     
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